READING: 1 Corinthians 5-8
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: I grew up in a non-Christian home where pornography was prevalent. In fact, I honestly can’t remember being so young that I had not seen some kind of pornography. I praise God for the victory He gave me years ago and continues to grant today — but I’m not so naïve to think such temptations will never return. Satan didn’t completely back off Jesus after the Lord defeated Him at the Mount of Temptation (Luke 4:13), and all of us would be foolish to think the enemy will back off in any areas of temptation in our life.
That’s one reason the Word of God is even that much more important in my life. Today’s reading reminds me over and over again why godliness in the arena of sexuality is so important:
- Apparently, sexual immorality is sometimes so acceptable that even believers become comfortable with it: “It is widely reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and the kind of sexual immorality that is not even tolerated among the Gentiles” (1 Cor. 5:5).
- Unrepentant sexual immorality necessitates church discipline, even isolation, in order to call offenders to repentance: "But now I am writing you not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer who is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or verbally abusive, a drunkard or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person” (1 Cor. 5:11).
- My body is created for God’s glory, and sexual sin distorts that goal: “The body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body” (1 Cor. 5:13).
- Jesus paid a price — the ultimate price — for me (including my body): “You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
- My body is the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit: “Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God?” (1 Cor. 6:19).
- God has, for some, granted a spouse to meet our sexual needs as we give ourselves to one another: “But because sexual immorality is so common, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband” (1 Cor. 7:2).
- Urgency demands obedience. The time is limited, and the world is passing away; thus, I should want to be found fully holy and completely committed to Christ: “And I say this, brothers: The time is limited . . . For this world in its current form is passing away” (1 Cor. 7:29, 31).
God’s direction is clear. All of my life — my thoughts, my actions, my body, my spirit and soul — is His.
To ignore that truth for the sake of temporary sexual pleasure is costly. Selfish. Risky. Short-sighted.
Actually, it’s idolatrous . . . .
ACTION STEPS: As you begin this week, strive today to be completely godly. Reject immoral thoughts. Ignore immoral talk. Turn away from immoral images. Close your computer, and turn off your phone if necessary.
PRAYER: “Father, grant me grace to focus on You alone today. Help me to find such great pleasure in You than any other potential pleasure loses its lure in my life.”
TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Corinthians 9-11